TEL AVIV (Dec. 2)
Some 15,000 young Israelis gathered in King’s Square here today to protest Soviet Russia’s treatment of its Jewish minority in what was one of the largest public demonstrations ever held in this city. The demonstrators were mainly of high school and college age and included members of most youth organization. Their theme, stated in placards they carried, was “Let My People Go,” a demand that Moscow grant exit permits to Jews who want to emigrate to Israel.
The same theme was emphasized by Premier Golda Meir, the only speaker at the rally. She said that while the Soviet regime was “cruel” it was “realistic” and it must recognize that its attempts to suppress the Jews of Russia was one of its biggest failures. Mrs. Meir pledged that Israel “shall not rest a minute and will raise its voice until the Jews of Russia are given the free choice of where to live, how to worship and how to educate their children.”
Yesterday, a day of prayer for Russian Jewry was observed in Israel at the behest of the Chief Rabbinate, Prayers were also said for Jews in the Arab countries. Prayer services were held near the Western Wall in East Jerusalem
The Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda attacked reports in Western newspapers that Soviet Jews are forbidden to leave the country and settle in Israel. But the paper also published the alleged account of a Jewish family that was permitted to go to Israel but was unhappy there. The Times of London commented that the mere publication of such an account was an indirect admission that many Soviet Jews want to go to Israel.